Are you joined?
What a wonderful analogy Jesus gives us. When branches are joined to a vine the goodness flows into them and they produce lots of wonderful fruit.
So it is with us. If we stay joined to Jesus then his goodness will flow into us and we will produce lots of wonderful fruit – we will be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. What’s more he will keep pruning us, cutting out the bad parts and feeding and developing the good parts. We’ll just get better and better!
There’s still more – lots of wonderful promises:-
Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you
Stay joined to me and let my teachings become part of you. Then you can pray for whatever you want, and your prayer will be answered (– not necessarily the answer we want and when we want it, but the best answer at the best time!)
If you obey me, I will keep loving you
If you go out and produce fruit and love each other then my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
Wow! Jesus tells us all this, he says, because he wants us to be as completely happy as he is!
However, be warned, if the branches break off the vine then they dry up and produce no fruit and are soon gathered up and burnt on a fire. We cannot enjoy all this without God – if we break away from him then our lives will dry up and become fruitless and worthless.
Be warned also, that when we are joined to God and no longer joined to the world, the world may well resent us. People may feel guilty or jealous or envious and not like us for the joy and peace and fulfilment we’ve found. This is nothing to fear – God’s Holy Spirit will be with us always, teaching, guiding and protecting us.
Dear Lord, help us to stay joined to you so that you will stay joined to us and fill us with your Spirit so that we will produce lots of good fruit and be filled with joy like you. Amen
Keep thinking about being joined to Jesus. Feel his goodness flowing into you and keep trying to produce good fruit – loving others – so that goodness will flow right through into their lives too.